The new Audi Q5 2021 looks like the previous Q5. But actually, there are changes to the exterior even though they are not significant. Nonetheless, this is a full facelift on the Q5 as more changes under the car and in the cabin. Thus, Audi can still compete with its premium rivals.
2021 Audi Q5 Review
The Q5 trim for 2021 will start with three variants. Audi has changed the naming convention around the base variant, which is now called the Q5. You can choose the 2-liter turbo diesel 40 TDI engine or turbo 45 TFSI petrol engine.
Meanwhile, this is slightly more expensive than the level of the outgoing car equipment has also experienced a significant increase.
Audi Q5 Body Design
You get full LED lighting. Audi has gotten rid of the xenon headlights. In addition, the plastic guards from the previous base car were also thrown away.
Well, the middle-class car is called Sport. You can opt for the same two engine options as the base car and significantly add more premium items to the mix. You get 20-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, automatic dimming, rear wing mirrors, and lots of other stuff on the inside, which we’ll cover later.
The range will eventually end with the S-line. The car is powered by a V6 diesel only and appears more aggressive. However, you wouldn’t get it until the end of the year.
You have nice new wheels as standard with most of the model year updates. Not only that, but the highlight strips have also changed. Now it is full of paint, and even the base of the car, which used to be plastic, is now full of paint.
There are a few subtle changes in the rear that lift the face of the 2021 Audi Q5. At first glance, you will not see the changes because they are very subtle. But when you look, you will see a strip of detail that crosses the rear of the Q5 boot lid. In addition, you will get an auto tailgate for all Q5 2021 models.
Audi Q5 Interior
Inside the Audi Q5, there are significant radical changes; it’s more of a technology festival. That’s what Audi needs to stay up to date with all its competitors.
Pride of place in the front interior is the new 10.1-inch multimedia touchscreen as standard across the entire lineup. The terrible software from the previous car is gone. So now you have the same new software as was also seen in Q3.
It even has a wireless Apple Carplay. But unfortunately, Android Auto users still have to use wires. Also, what will impress you is the virtual instrument cluster which looks great.
The digital instrument elements of the new 2021 Audi Q5 are great. I’ve always been very impressed with how it works and how it looks. It’s even more customizable for the Q5 version, with a few different themes as well.
Apart from that, you have much better software. You can also control the car’s functions more easily via the touch screen.
Audi can clean up its center console before it gets too busy for you. The new Q5 also got rid of the odd touchpad. Now you have some extra storage, and the Audi Q5 2021 even has a nifty wireless charger.
Audi has even said that they’ve upgraded the designated leather trim, so you’ll feel more comfortable than ever. But I have to admit that the design is now starting to look a bit dated and conservative compared to its competitors. But that doesn’t mean that Audi isn’t doing a great job here of improving things.
So, I think it’s more of a reflection of how good the new design is in great vehicles like the Q3 and Q8 models, and that’s just something this car missed this time.
In the back seat, not much has changed for this year’s model. The seat trim seems to continue with an improved look and feel, although I was hoping for a bit more pads underneath. You also have knee and headroom, even with a panoramic sunroof.
Rear passengers will enjoy the ride in the Audi Q5 as they have two adjustable air vents positioned behind the center console. Apart from that, the climate zone is a nice feature.
Audi upgraded it so that there are now two USB ports that match the 12-volt port. But the center-elevated transmission tunnel to support the AWD system looks very prominent and high.
So it wouldn’t be good if you put the adult in the middle seat. Practicality is generally excellent with a big cup holder at the front door.
You’ve got a large center console with a wireless phone charger adjustment that hides two more cup holders underneath. There’s also an extra storage tray in the mid-console, which is reworked.
Rear seat passengers also get a large cup holder on the door with net storage. It’s placed on the back of the front seats—also, you do have a set of cup holders on the designated leather in the drop-down armrest console.
Luggage space comes in a remarkable 520 liters, and the standard motorized rear door is a welcome upgrade for this year. You also have the spare parts room under the floor.
For the 2021 Audi Q5 model year, the engine has received a few tweaks. The 2L 40 TDI diesel has less power, but the 2L 45 TFSI petrol engine has received a slight boost.
Both now have a mild-hybrid system featuring a 12-volt lithium-ion battery to help boost the starter motor for smooth stop-start systems and increase launch time by turning off the engine at higher speeds. Both have a 7-speed and dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The S Line features a tweaked 3-liter V6 turbo diesel with an extra powerful 48V hybrid system. Every 2021 Audi Q5 is AWD by default. Audi’s on-demand system only switches to two-wheel drive in the ideal circumstances, such as when you’re driving on a freeway or ask for a bit of throttle.
So what’s the new Q5 like behind the wheel? Let’s find out! The new Q5 from behind the wheel hasn’t changed much. Honestly, it is almost the same driving experience as the pre-facelift model. But what’s important about this new 2-liter engine is that the Q5 has what Audi calls mild hybrid, and this in a real sense.
You can’t move the wheel because it’s only a 12V system. What it does is help the motor start, and that helps the amount of time the engine is off. Meaning there’s a minor adjustment in fuel efficiency but a slightly more significant change in emissions.
The transition when the engine is OFF in the type of stop-start system which is now used more frequently is smoother, especially on the Q5 petrol model. Meanwhile, diesel also has the same system, although it is slower to start again at the T-junction and the red light.
The rest of the driving experience is largely the same, but the steering is what I like best in the 2021 Audi Q5. You have several modes to choose from. You have Comfort or Dynamics, which is your Sport mode type. Yes, it does have a bit of an artificial character, so it feels artificially light in Comfort and heavy in Dynamics.
But I think it fits the character of the Audi Q5, which is more of a long-distance family tourer. So I think Comfort mode is perfect for that. But then, Sport mode doesn’t make it feel too slow when it comes to the fancier types of S-band roads.
The Audi Q5 turns so well it makes it incredibly easy to point to such a large two-tonne-weight SUV.
Suspension and Cabin
I have to say the Q5’s suspension is a wonderful job of keeping this car under control, even around corners, and things are great.
However, the little bumps you notice throughout suburban roads can make a little bit of jolting, but then the bigger bumps are handled well.
So there’s some calibration going on with the springs and dampers to keep the Audi Q5’s nice balance between sportiness and comfort, which is a tough wire to walk around. But I think Audi has done very well in this regard.
Another very important thing about that ride and the tone of the suspension is that the cabin is completely quiet, around 90% of the surface.
At this point, the diesel Sport is equipped with an adaptive suspension package, which makes driving significantly quieter and is especially suitable on bumpy country roads.
But it doesn’t matter which one you choose between a 2-liter diesel or 2-liter petrol, and now you have a lot more potent 3-liter V6s coming up in the S line later this year.
But for now, the Q5 engine is not the most sporty but much more attractive than the diesel. I don’t think the Q5 has enough sporty traits. But both of these engines are good in fuel efficiency, which gets the emissions down.
I think both of them should perform well. The claimed fuel numbers for both cars are pretty low, and the engines are both mated to an automatic, dual-clutch transmission. You have no problem with this transmission, and it is very smooth to switch between gears.
The only problem you might encounter with the diesel engine in the transmission is a bit of turbo lag, and it only gets annoying when you’re stuck at a T-junction or a red light. The overall impression I leave from the 2021 Audi Q5 is that this vehicle is more suitable as a family tourer.
Safety Features of Audi Q5
You have adaptive cruise control, especially in the Sport class, which makes it suitable on the road. Sport mode is impressive if you need high performance on the S-corner. But overall, Audi has made the Q5 better with those minor changes to drive in every way.
On the active safety features, all Audi Q5s now have:
- automatic emergency braking that helps with lane departure alerts
- blind-spot monitoring
- rear traffic alerts
- safe exit alerts
- driver attention alerts
- auto high beam
- adaptive cruise control
- auto parking assistance
- 360-degree camera.
A more sophisticated version of Ford’s crash warning and maneuvering assistance is standard on all but the base Q5. However, this car can add it as part of the assistance package. The Q5’s safety complement also includes eight airbags, and since it’s a facelift, it will maintain the five-star safety rating and maximum limits it received in 2017.
Unfortunately, Audi still has a three-year warranty and unlimited kilometers. Even as its main rival Mercedes moved to the promise of five-year kilometers and industry-standard unlimited, it’s on par with BMW and other luxury brands like Land Rover, but it would be nice to see the changes here. Servicing is a better story and real advantages for Audi with a five-year prepaid service package proven to be relatively inexpensive for the premium market.
2021 Audi Q5 Prices
Regarding price, Audi deliberately puts the Q5 as a value offering against other SUV rivals as its arch-enemy from Germany. The equivalent variants in the Q5 range all have lower starting prices than the Mercedes-Benz GLC or BMW X3.
- Premium 45 TFSI: $ 43,300
- Premium 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid: $ 51,900
- Premium Plus 45 TFSI: $ 48,100
- Premium Plus 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid: $ 55,800
- Prestige 45 TFSI: $ 54,000
- Prestige 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid: $ 61,700
The Conclusion of the New Audi Q5
My overall impression of the new Q5 is that Audi has worked mainly behind the scenes to tweak the small details that add overall to a more attractive mid-sized luxury SUV package. More importantly, they have breathed new life and are a little high-end. Now the Q5 technology is on the nameplate, whereas it looked like it had fallen behind before. So, do you think Audi managed to make the Q5 even better? Let me know in the comments below!
Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast, and he has years of experience in the automotive field as an engineer. Now he is also active as an automobile blogger and member of the auto community.